Wonderful Fratton faithful's gruelling April challenge as Portsmouth and their fans handed exhausting League One finale against Sheffield Wednesday, Bolton and Rotherham

Pompey fans have learnt the gruelling schedule in store during a chaotic finale to their League One season.

Thursday, 17th March 2022, 11:30 am
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2022, 12:13 pm

And they will be challenged to travel 1,800 miles and spend 32 hours on the road in April to cheer on the Blues.

With rearrangement of their fixture schedule now complete, Danny Cowley’s men must fulfil eight games in the last 26 days of the campaign.

It reflects an exhausting end to the season – for supporters as well as the Blues’ small squad.

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Following this weekend’s visit of Wycombe, Pompey are without a match for 16 days, including two vacant Saturdays.

Instead, they are asked to finish the season in a hurry during a hectic April.

They must cram in the remaining eight games before the Saturday, April 30 conclusion at Sheffield Wednesday.

There remains a slim chance of further fixtures after that, albeit entirely dependent on reaching the play-off semi-finals.

There were 1,986 travelling Pompey fans at Ipswich last weekend, reflecting the Blues' impressive support on the road. Picture: Malcolm Bryce/ProSportsImages

Nonetheless, what’s certain is the Blues face an arduous end to an erratic campaign which has delighted and frustrated in equal measure.

This week has seen the announcement of rearranged games against Bolton (April 5) and Rotherham (April 12) to complete their calendar.

Bolton was switched following international call-ups, while the original date to face Rotherham at Fratton Park was scrapped following their progress to the Papa John’s Trophy final.

Pompey now travel to Bolton on Tuesday, April 5, a total journey consisting of 516 miles and 8 hours and 54 minutes.

The following Saturday they head to Cheltenham (April 9) for a more palatable round trip of 231 miles and four hours and 26 minutes.

They then face league leaders Rotherham (Tuesday, April 12) and Michael Appleton’s Lincoln (Friday, April 15) at Fratton Park.

On Bank Holiday Monday (April 18), they next head to Morecambe, involving a distance of 582 miles and duration of 10 hours and eight minutes.

In fact, that Easter period sees Cowley’s men now asked to play three times in six days, of which two games are at home.

The Blues host struggling Gillingham on Saturday, April 23, followed by promotion-chasing Wigan on Tuesday, April 26, also at Fratton Park.

Then it’s the season finale at Hillsborough, with the delights of a 12.30pm kick off for travelling Pompey supporters.

The fans’ journey to South Yorkshire consists of a 464-mile round trip, spanning eight hours and 14 minutes.

Regardless, Pompey will travel in large numbers as ever, most recently with 1,381 present at Home Park for Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat.

Certainly a busy schedule and rising petrol prices will not stop them.

Remaining games: Wycombe (H) (March 19), Bolton (A) (April 5), Cheltenham (A) (April 9), Rotherham (H) (April 12), Lincoln (H) (April 15), Morecambe (A) (April 18), Gillingham (H) (April 23), Wigan (H) (April 26), Sheffield Wednesday (A) (April 30).

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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